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Office of Career Services
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Congratulations 2015 Graduates!!

Did you know that as an alumnus, you can continue to utilize Career Services?  To review a list of services offered, click here

Do you want to stay connected to what is happening in TC Career Services and the Columbia community? Join the TCCS Alumni Listserv to receive emails about upcoming career development workshops and panels, webinars, employer information sessions and current career opportunities. You will receive weekly updates during the fall, spring, and summer semesters, along with special announcements.  Click here to subscribe.

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Welcome to Career Services

Teachers College Career Services (TCCS) is committed to guiding all TC students and alumni throughout the different phases of the career development process. Whether you are entering a new field, advancing within your current profession, or changing directions, we will help you identify and develop the skills and resources needed to achieve your career goals.

TCCS Employer Relations:

The employers connect to highly talented TC students and alumni in the fields of education, psychology, health and international educational development. Our employer relations staff can maximize your recruitment efforts by understanding your immediate and future hiring needs and developing targeted recruitment strategies.  It is the educated way to go!  We welcome your partnership and long term interest in our students and alumni.  Upon hiring from TC, please share with us your hire information by clicking here.

Services Offered

TCCS can assist you with your career development throughout the duration of your time at Teachers College and when you become an alumnus.  Start you career development  journey today.  Schedule an hour long career counseling appointment to help you make informed decisions about your career goals: take an assessment test, learn job search tips, and schedule a mock session for interview preparation.   Have your resume, cover letter, and curriculum vita (CV) reviewed electronically or come in for a 15 minute walk-in.

Join the Alumni/Student LinkedIn Networking Group

Teachers College Career Services (TCCS), Columbia University LinkedIn Group
Connect with TC alumni and fellow students, exchange information, ideas and opportunities with others in your field, and learn about upcoming TCCS programs & events.

ATTENTION: This group now serves as the new TCCS Alumni Mentor Program.  The former Alumni Mentor Program housed in TCCS LINK is no longer accessible.  The transition to this group will significantly enhance your overall networking opportunities!  Click here for more information on joining this group!

TCCS Programs & Events

Throughout the fall and spring semester, attend a workshop to learn how to write a resume and to negotiate your salary. Attend an employer information session to learn more about an organization you are interested in pursuing. Come to a panel to hear from TC Alumni who are teachers working outside of the classroom or who have advanced their education by getting a doctorate degree.
Learn more

NACE Job Choices Magazine now in digital format on the TCCS Website

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) connects campus recruiting and career services professionals, and provides best practices, trends, research, professional development, and conferences. NACE Job Choices Magazines are now available in digital format. Magazines feature job-search advice and interview tips, sample cover letters and resumes, links to employer websites, and more! To view, go to the Resources Section on the TCCS Website and click on Publications.


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Resources_Tips and Samples > Informational Interviews

Informational Interviews

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The Informational Interview:  What is it?

The informational interview is one of the most effective methods for gaining more detailed information about a particular career.  It is an opportunity for you to ask the questions and gain a better understanding about a career, industry and/or company.  An interview can take place over the phone or in person.  Ideally, the best place to meet is at the mentor’s place of employment.

Reasons for Having an Informational Interview

  1. To explore careers and clarify your career goals
  2. To discover employment opportunities that are not advertised
  3. To expand your professional network
  4. To build confidence for job interviews
  5. To access the most up-to-date career information
  6. To identify your professional strengths and weaknesses

How to Prepare for the Informational Interview

This is a chance for you to ask questions and obtain information.  It is not used to get a job.

Know Yourself

Determine what you need in a mentor before the initial interview.  Figure out what information would be most beneficial as you explore your career options.

Know the Mentor
Make sure that you are familiar with the mentor’s academic program and department at TC.  Be sure to have a clear understanding of his/her current position.

Know the Organization
Research details about the organization in which the mentor works.  You can find out specific information using company websites, annual reports, directories, newspapers and other professionals in the field.

Be Professional
Present yourself in a businesslike manner.  Allow the person being interviewed to do most of the talking. Do not dominate the conversation. Be positive and assertive – not overly flattering or obnoxiously aggressive.  Be courteous and keep a time limit of 20 minutes unless the contact agrees to more time.

Questions to Ask on the Interview

About the Career Field

  1. What types of positions are most often found in this field?
  2. What are some general skills that are needed to perform well in this field?
  3. Do you recommend any specific training or education?
  4. What are some of the disadvantages of this field?
  5. What is a typical entry level in this field?  What is the current outlook for entry-level positions?
  6. What is the future of this field in terms of new and expanding opportunities?<

About the Job/Organization

  1. What are some of the short and long term goals of the organization such as growth, new products or services and expansion of facilities?
  2. What is the philosophy of the organization?
  3. What types of training programs are available?
  4. Can you describe the typical entry-level position in the organization?
  5. Can you explain a typical career path from entry level to topmanagement in this organization?
  6. What are the major responsibilities of your position?  Specific duties?
  7. What types of personal qualities are necessary for this occupation?
  8. What is the level of pressure on the job?
  9. What is the optimal level of performance to achieve career success?

About the Individual

  1. How did you become interested in this field?
  2. What was your career path from college to present?
  3. What do you like best about your job/career?
  4. What do you like least about your job/career?
  5. If you had to do it over again, would you choose the same career?  What would you change?
  6. What do you think of my background so far in terms of entering this field?  What would you suggest to improve my qualifications?

What to do after the Interview

Before you end the interview, think about your original objective. Has it been met? In your closing, you should pull everything together. Close on a happy note.Thank the person for his/her time and knowledge. Let the person know that the information they have shared is valuable and the ways in which it will influence future decisions.  Ask for permission to contact him/her again if you find a need for further information. If you have met in person, ask for a business card. 
Send a thank you note within 24 hours of the informational interview. Thank the mentor again for his/her time and generosity.  You may want to maintain the relationship through periodic contacts. The best way to do this is let the person know of your progress on a regular basis. Encourage the mentor to keep in touch with you and promise to keep him/her informed of your plans. Always acknowledge how appreciative you are of their help.

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